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Because the beaver isn't just an animal; it's an ecosystem!


 I would like to formally request more opinion pieces like this. Pretty please?

Our friend the beaver

As a wildland firefighter, I have witnessed the impacts of larger and longer fire seasons. I have smelled the charred earth and watched the soil blown away into dust. In 2020, Colorado had its most destructive fires to date, with the Cameron Peak and East Troublesome fires burning more than 402,725 acres; that’s equivalent to more than 300,000 football field.

In a state with an expanding population and increasing wildfire risk, we need innovative solutions to protect our communities and watersheds from larger, more ferocious, and more frequent wildfires.

One potential solution involves beavers.

Yes, you read that correctly. Beavers. Let me explain how these critters can play an important role in combating wildfire.

Oh my goodness. I am so crushing on this author right now. I am fully prepared to listen intelligently to everything you’re likely to say, but I should let you know ahead if time and save you any trouble. You had me at ‘beavers’.”

Recently, legislation was proposed directing the U.S. Forest Service to immediately suppress wildfires on National Forest Service Lands. The bill requires the Forest Service to “use all available resources to carry out wildfire suppression with the purpose of extinguishing wildfires detected on National Forest System lands not later than 24 hours after such a wildfire is detected.” 

While this legislation is well intentioned, I think we need to investigate solutions outside of total suppression of fire.

The federal government has plans to spend $50 billion to aid in fire mitigation. Battling larger blazes costs taxpayer dollars, the health of our forests, and precious human lives. In a time of increasing wildfire behavior, why are our leader’s proposing legislation that is business as usual?

One such idea, which does not spring to most people’s minds, is the mass reintroduction of beavers on federal lands. Before colonization, beavers were abundant across the continent, numbering in the tens of millions. Numbers dwindled as Europeans trapped beaver for a lucrative fur industry back in Europe.

Oooh I’m liking this already. Well I’d change your language from “Introduction” to “allowance”. The beavers are there of course. They just get killed before they can do any good. Let’s stop that, okay?

Could we help reduce wildfire risk and return beaver populations to their historic ranges? I say yes!

Beavers are nature’s architects and provide a host of ecological benefits. Beaver ponds and dams filter out pollutants. The wetlands created from their damming activities diversify habitat for many other species, creating an aquatic food web that supports the life cycle of many game species across the continent such as salmon, lamprey and steelhead that humans have depended on for thousands of years.

Beaver dams and ponds aid in slowing flood waters in heavy rainfall and snowmelt events, helping to safeguard downstream communities. Beavers create canals from their ponds, which aid in rehydrating landscapes, giving groundwater the chance to cool and seep into the soil.

Now THAT’s what I’m talking about. Don’t pussy foot it. Just lay it on the line. And hey if my home burns down next year can I sue the neighbor who had the beavers trapped out of his stream for increasing fire risk?

As demonstrated in a recent study, post-wildfire areas with beavers did not burn to the same extent as the surrounding area. Wet, hydrated landscapes are less likely to burn with the same severity as drier or non-hydrated landscapes. This has great benefits for post fire recovery.

The wetlands created by beavers offer a haven for species during and after wildfire events. Beaver dwellings help protect downstream water sheds, as well. The dams and ponds act as collection sites for silt and ash from surrounding hillsides and give them time to settle, providing a filtration system for the water sources we depend on.

You are definitely ringing the bell. Now let’s bring it home. One final push over the finish line.

To be sure, beaver reintroduction is not the complete answer to reducing wildfire risk, but one tool among many that can aid in reducing the risk. Recently, researchers have found that most people associate beavers with creating trouble in residential and agricultural areas, causing flooding of neighborhoods and pastures. With smart management, the benefits of beavers on federal lands far outweigh the potential risks to human communities — especially here in the fire-prone West.

Wildfires across the West are only going to intensify in the coming years. Instead of just trying to suppress fire as we have historically done, we need to search for innovative solutions to changing wildfire behavior. The encouragement of beaver populations on federal lands may be one tool of many to help us on our path forward to becoming fire resilient communities.

With all the ecological benefits beavers offer, this is a low-cost win for our communities and wildlands. We all have a role to play in becoming resilient to changing fire behavior. I encourage you to contact Colorado Parks and Wildlife and your federal representatives and demand innovative solutions to fire policy.

Beavers are HIRED! I sure wish this article was syndicated everywhere flammable. By which I mean, everywhere. Thanks Jeremiah Gorske for telling everyone the truth!


After yesterday’s dizzy news I felt a little high all day, like I had just won a downhill race or trekked nepal. I heard from many friends about the good news and called a few to make sure they knew. And I sent the License plate design to the governor’s office just for good measure. Late in the day I heard from Ben Goldfarb who was very very excited about and wanted to do an article for NG or something similar specifically on the fight. Good. I want everyone to know how hard we worked to make this almost happen.

I also heard Ben on the biggest podcast interview yet. The  Orvis Fly fishing listen that angler’s from across the country tune into. I knew this was coming but it was better than I expected, and I usually listen to them all when Ben’s talking. If you want to skip the fishing advice, Interview starts at 43:26.

You may wonder why I’ve done a podcast about beavers. You may be greatly surprised by the beneficial interactions between beavers and trout habitat—I know I was after talking to Ben Goldfarb, author of Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter. Beavers have a much more positive effect on trout streams aside from just making deep pools, and they don’t present any problems to migrating fish. And, yes, we do talk about how to fish a beaver pond, and how to find a good one. I think all fly fishers and nature enthusiasts will learn something new in this podcast.

If every trout fisherman in every stream in every state thought beavers would good for fish then they might have a fighting chance. Nice work Ben.


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Regular readers of this website know that I only break out the starwars award ceremony for very very special occasions. Like this morning.  Because  last night Gavin Newsome released his budget for next year and you will LITERALLY never guess what it has in it.

Budget Request Summary
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (Department) requests 5.0 permanent positions and $1.67 million California Environmental License Plate Fund in Fiscal Year (FY) 202223, and $1.44 million in FY 202324 and ongoing to fund and support the implementation of a beaver restoration program within the Department.

NO WAY. NO FUCKING WAY. REALLY??? REALLY???

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (Department) requests 5.0 permanent positions and $1.67 million California Environmental License Plate Fund in Fiscal Year (FY) 202223, and $1.44 million in FY 202324 and ongoing to fund and support the implementation of a beaver restoration program within the Department.

B. Background/History
The North American Beaver (Castor canadensis) is considered a "keystone species”. Beavers
used to live in almost every stream in North America (except in the deserts) with an estimated
population of 100-200 million. Human exploitation and nuisance eradication efforts dwindled
those populations to approximately 10-15 million beavers today. Beavers are known for their
ability to build dams and change waterways – but the ecosystem benefits provided to other
native species in the process may be less recognized. It might be odd, but beavers are an
untapped, creative climate solving hero that helps prevent the loss of biodiversity facing
California. In the intermountain West, wetlands, though they are present on just 2 percent of
total land area, support 80 percent of biodiversity. Further, beaver dams improve water quality
and control water downstream, repair eroded channels, reconnect streams to their floodplains, and the ponds and flooded areas create habitat for many plants and animals.
Beavers create habitat complexity, significantly increase biodiversity, and can provide
perennial flow to streams that would otherwise run dry. Through this process of ecosystem
engineering, beavers can expand wetland, riparian, and wet meadow habitats and increase
wildfire resiliency in areas with known beaver activity.
California native tribes, non-governmental organizations, private landowners, and state and
federal agencies have been working to partner and successfully implement beaver
restoration projects throughout California. The Department is actively involved in activities that
are responsive to beaver management and reported human-beaver conflict, such as
property damage. This proposal supports the Department’s need for additional staffing to truly
support and manage this native keystone species through the implementation of nature-
based solutions. To be successful in our efforts to protect biodiversity, the Department must
take a proactive leap towards bringing beavers back onto the landscape through a
concerted effort to combine prioritized restoration projects, partnerships with local, federal,
and state agencies and tribes, and updated policies and practices that support beaver
management and conservation throughout the State.
The gap in needed Department staffing to support Species and Habitat Conservation has
been documented through the Department’s Service Based Budgeting (SBB) process
indicating a 73% mission level gap, which is the Department highest need. These additional
resources to support beaver restoration in California will help close this service level gap

I can’t feel my toes. Can you? I think the floor suddenly got very far away.  I might be flying. Or sinking. Or floating.

evaluate and report on, the service standards designed to meet its mission, cost estimates and
staffing requirements to meet its mission, and a comparison of the mission level needs against
existing staffing. SBB findings have identified that current staffing is sufficient to accomplish
approximately 35% across mission level needs. Species and Habitat Conservation show the
greatest need with a 73% gap in meeting the Department’s mission level.
D. Justification
Beavers are remarkable at creating more resilient ecosystems – and therefore thinking through
approaches to maximize their unique skills throughout California will benefit our landscapes
and help drive more cost-efficient restoration. The Department is actively involved in activities
that are responsive to beaver management and reported human-beaver conflict, such as
property damage. However, the Department is not well staffed or structured to truly support
and manage this species as a successful contributor to our efforts to protect biodiversity and
increase wildfire resiliency through implementing nature-based solutions. This proposal will
develop dedicated staffing resources to revise beaver policies and guidelines, coordinate
restoration efforts, proactively mitigate human-beaver conflict, and work towards relocating
beavers into watersheds through consultation with local partners, state and federal agencies,
tribes, and non-governmental organizations. Specifically, this program will support and help
maintain:
  •  A comprehensive approach to beaver management in California
     Native California tribes in their efforts to restore culturally significant beavers to their
    ancestral homelands and other lands they manage
     Demonstrate the importance of beaver relocation and climate smart restoration
     Beneficial habitat as refugia to drought, wildfire, and climate change
     Increased abundance of ecologically and significant plants and wildlife species
     Improve water quality and prolong flow during dry seasons
     An integrated “toolkit” of resources and proven effective exclusion methods for
    deployment to mitigate human-beaver conflict, prevent damage due to beaver
    activity, and foster co-existence
     Create a pathway to utilize beaver relocation in watersheds where beavers have been
    extirpated or co-existence strategies have been exhausted
     Beaver habitat suitability models to reduce the risk of human conflict and to sustain
    long-term beaver occupancy
  • [wonderplugin_video iframe=”https://youtu.be/mXPoRnY3r10″ lightbox=0 lightboxsize=1 lightboxwidth=960 lightboxheight=540 autoopen=0 autoopendelay=0 autoclose=0 lightboxtitle=”” lightboxgroup=”” lightboxshownavigation=0 showimage=”” lightboxoptions=”” videowidth=600 videoheight=400 keepaspectratio=1 autoplay=0 loop=0 videocss=”position:relative;display:block;background-color:#000;overflow:hidden;max-width:100%;margin:0 auto;” playbutton=”https://www.martinezbeavers.org/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/wonderplugin-video-embed/engine/playvideo-64-64-0.png”]

Ohhhh sure, Just do EVERYTHING I WANT and act like it’s nothing. Just give me every single thing I’ve been fighting for for 15 years and dust your hands off like it doesn’t mean a thing, Okay. I’ll take it.

Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. Nobody breathe for a minute.

RECOMMENDATION:

The Department recommends approval of Alternative 1: Approve 5.0 permanent positions
and $1.67 million California Environmental License Plate Fund in FY 202223, and $1.44 million in FY 202324 and ongoing to fund and support the implementation a beaver restoration
program within the Department

OHHH MYYYYY. OHHHH MYYYYYY. OHHHH MYYYY.

Just remember that when Gavin Newsome was running for governor he held a fund raiser attended by our mayor and shook his hand saying “I see those beavers on channel 2 Every night!!!”


Well we’ve fully entered the manic depressive phase of beaver festival planning, because I’ve already been elated by the initial promise that the EBRP fish mobile wanted to join us this year and yesterday dashed to hear that won’t in fact be possible. c’est la vie. I’m sure I’ll be ready for the padded cell soon.

Tuesday I have too appear before the Parks Recreation and Marine Cultural Commission and get final permissions. Lucky for me lingering covid means I can appear virtually via zoom. At least I won’t have to get into all that fuss about getting the special water key or opening a hydrant.

A lot happens at a beaver festival, even without a fish tank.

If you weren’t free wednesday night for the Cary Institute Presentation you can see everything you missed on the video here. I enjoyed everything about it although I would have tossed more credit to Mike Callahan and Skip Lisle for moving flow devices from the crazy to the practical, but that’s just me.

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Oh goody. There’s money for research into all that dam climate change that beavers are causing. I pretty much knew there would be.

The changing habitats and behaviour of beavers as they move further north into the Arctic Circle will be examined in a new study.

Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge has been granted £553,491 to investigate the mammals’ impact as they move northwards.

Researchers want to understand their effects on the landscape, fish populations and indigenous people. Project leader Dr Helen Wheeler said she was “delighted” to receive the sum.

The study will look at the effects of climate change and rising temperatures. The line where trees grow has moved northwards, as has the beaver, which builds dams and water pools by felling trees.

A cool half million to study how beavers are wrecking the countryside by hastening it’s demise. Remember Helen was the one who thought their dams might be ruining things for salmon too and destroying the native economy.

The funding, from the government-sponsored UK Research and Innovation body, will build on studies being carried out by the university in Canada’s Northwest Territories looking at how beavers are changing local ecosystems.

Researchers will examine how beavers’ dam-building can change landscapes by creating ponds and diverting rivers, leading to fewer fish that local people rely upon.

The number of beavers heading north of the treeline and into the Arctic, together with the amount of new ponds they are creating, have caused permafrost to melt.

This can lead to greenhouse gases methane and carbon dioxide being released.

Ohh hoo hooo. To be a researcher piling onto this little trope gathering! Because cause climate change! Not Shell Oil! Give me funding!

The new study starts this month and will last for three years, looking at an area in Canada’s Inuvialuit Settlement Region. UK researchers will work alongside Wilfrid Laurier University of Canada and the Inuvialuit Fisheries Joint Management Committee.

Dr Wheeler said her team would bring together experts from a multitude of fields.

“We will be able to investigate the complex effects of rapid environmental change in a truly interdisciplinary way,” she said.

“What is especially pleasing is that this project is working closely with Inuvialuit partners and community members, and together we will be creating tools and infrastructure that will exist way beyond the life of the project.

“This will allow locally led monitoring and research to continue in the region long term… to help inform their ongoing stewardship of the land.”

We will be teaching them how to BLAME BEAVERS and TRAP BEAVERS so that it will last for generations! Aren’t you a little curious where that money comes from? Raise your hand if you answered ‘Chevron’.

She should feel so proud.


Many moons ago when I was in graduate school I arranged my classes on monday and tuesday and my internship for Thursday and Friday so I had wednesdays off for writing papers. Once a month Jon’s rotating Powerplant shift matched mine and we were both off on wednesday. So this wonder became known as “Special Wednesdays” when we would go hiking to Point Reyes or Canoe up Russian River or drive up the coast to picnic  on the beach or hike through douglas Iris.

Special Wednedays were magical and necessary.

Well today might be a pretty special wednsday because it’s your last chance to sign up for this.

Join us on May 11 at 7pm ET for a virtual exploration of beaver ecology and management in the Hudson Valley. Presented by Mike Fargione, Cary wildlife biologist and Manager of Field Research & Outdoor Programs, and Dan Aitchison, Senior Curator of Wildlife for the Westchester County Department of Parks, Recreation, and Conservation.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Beaver as ecosystem engineers and keystone species
  • 101 on how beaver alter watersheds
  • A historical perspective on beaver in New York State
  • Beaver recolonization of Cary Institute: A case study
  • How to coexist with beaver and mitigate conflicts

Does that sound pretty fantastic? You bet it does! Just the kind of story a girl from Martinez likes to hear from New York. So you can bet I’ll be tuning in. I hesitated when the link said ‘buy tickets’ but I finally clicked through and realized it was a free event. So Sign up and have a cocktail while you listen to the fantastic news of our New York cousins.

Dan Aitchison has worked in the wildlife field since 2009, as the Senior Curator of Wildlife for the Westchester County Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation. His work has focused on the study of target wildlife species and monitoring their impacts, creating and implementing adaptive management programs and strategies to mitigate human/wildlife conflicts, public education, developing working relationships with local research organizations, and acting as a liaison between the county, state and federal wildlife agencies.

Mike Fargione manages Cary Institute’s natural areas and coordinates property access and outdoor public programs. Research interests include: local predator-prey relationships, interactions between human actions and wildlife populations, and finding ways to mitigate human-wildlife conflicts. Among his active projects are managing deer impacts on forests using habitat management and controlled hunting, using trail cameras to understand wildlife distribution and abundance, and investigating the ecological role of man-made nest boxes as wildlife resources.

Click here to read more and register for the event.


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My favorite thing in all the world is finding out that after 15 years of doing this I finally have enough people around who care about this issue that when one can’t help or has knee surgery or needs to go to Maui I have another name I can turn to. You cannot guess the delight that fills my heart when I can wrack my brain and think of another likely talent to fill in at the dress rehearsal.

Amelia Hunter who has helped us for years and years and made the fantastic artwork for this and so many festivals was unable to help with this task because her computer is taking a siesta and I needed the image in high resolution for the shirts. Lucky for me the day job of our summer chalk artist, Amy G. Hall is as a graphic artist, and she was happy to step in.

Problem solved.

 


Which prompts me to say that you should right now be looking at your empty closet and thinking, Gosh I need that shirt.


Once upon a time a million years ago I was a volunteer youth day care teacher and spent most afternoons doing artwork with school aged children. There was a precious little manipulative snow queen of a girl who ruled the roost and made all the other little girls do everything she did immediately. And that afternoon we were playing with clay. I was amusing myself making little clay figures of animals. And was surprised that they were turning out cute. Very cute. Shoni was surprised too.

And not exactly happy about it.

She tolerated the giraffe. And smiled at the mouse. But when I started to work on the dog she frowned.

“Don’t you think you’re making too many little animals, Heidi?” She intoned crisply. And I swear if I had been six I would have felt horrible and stopped instantly. But as I was 16  I understand pretty clearly that she was jealous. And didn’t like the feeling very much. Because, who does?

And I mention that story this morning, for no real reason, but because, well, don’t you, think Napa is doing too many nice things for beavers?

Yesterday was the ribbon cutting ceremony for the beaver interpretive signs using Rusty’s artwork and explaining their role in the ecosystem. I will not exaggerate when I say they both made me swoon and roll my eyes while gritting my teeth in envy in equal measure.

See for yourself.

County Supervisor Brad Wagenknecht, Richard head of Napa Flood Control in beaver costume and current Mayor of Napa Scott at ribbon cutting for signs. The past Mayor of Napa was also there and a city council person showed up late with kid.

Nice signs. Good message. Beaver costume. Okay. That’s what you might expect. In all honesty, this is what sent me over the edge.

Beaver proclamation Napa05072022

Now that the story of beavers is being told on a broader scale, it is more common than ever to cross paths with new believers who are staunch advocates of relocation. If beavers are causing problems in one place why not just move them to another place where they can do some good? Problem solved, right?

And since I am allegedly a staunch defender of the beaver I should be the biggest fan of that argument. Theoretically. So our biggest fight with CDFW should be over the RIGHT to relocate beavers. Shouldn’t it? California is the only western state that never allows it. So shouldn’t that be the front where all our battle equipment is directed?

I say no. And before your sensibilities are offended hear me out.

Aside from the fact that beaver relocation is a complicated and risky process that even when it works, and is only likely to produce temporary relief for the landowner, aside from the fact that beavers don’t obediently stay put after we move them, aside from the fact that it is never a guarantee lives will be saved, aside from all that…

Beaver relocation removes our most powerful weapon in the fight against beaver ignorance. The deadly weapon of distaste.

Worst trapping photo ever

This recently crystalized in my mind when I was talking to a very high powered individual about beavers. It would be fair to say I talk about beavers a lot. A lot. I talk about beavers to people who are staunch believers. people who read Ben’s book and are ‘beaver-curious’, people who have just learned about the good things they do and people who have never in their life had more than a 2 minute conversation about wildlife in general. When I talk about depredation my dearest wish is that they would realize what a wasted resource a dead beaver is, a missed opportunity for biodiversity and water storage in a state that desperately needs both.

But if I’m lucky, the biggest reaction I invariably get is “DISTASTE”.

People don’t like the idea of killing beavers. Mothers and CEOs and Firemen and shop clerks share the same aversion. Killing beavers is icky. Not as bad as drowning puppies or clubbing baby seals but it leaves a bad flavor on one’s tongue and if there was a way to get rid of the problem and NOT have the bad taste they’d much rather do that.

And that’s what give me the space to  talk about flow devices or culvert fences or wrapping trees. That little “Ew” is what makes the entire conversation possible. It turns out “Ew” is our best friend. It is the pause that allows solutions to be considered. It is a speed bump on the convenience highway which slows down  traffic enough that people don’t just kill their way our of every problem without a second thought.

(Which is not to say that there aren’t people without any speed bumps whatsoever, or where killing beavers causes zero distaste or is even god forbid pleasant, but there is little hope for these types and I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about them.)

I focus more energy on the casual beaver beholders, folks who only have a little bit of time for the subject before they move on to something much more important, like the grocery list or profit margins or EIR reports, folks who don’t really care about beavers but who don’t like the idea of killing them because its “ookey”.

That moment of DISTASTE is the ticking doorway which is begrudgingly opened through which I can carry flow devices or arguments and ecological discussions. Like the windmill hole in miniature golf its a fast moving opening. One of those revolving monstrosities in big city department stores. Or a portcullis dropping down to seal a caste. Time is limited. Tick Tick Tick. And if you’re lucky you can just block the doorway as  closes with something DISTASTEFUL.

Like a dead beaver.

And If that wasn’t there – if the average person didn’t have to be even slightly uncomfortable with the idea of killing to get rid of an inconvenience – if the  band-aid of relocation could be carelessly placed over every bump and contusion – if a dead beaver never even cluttered their busy thoughts, there would be no way to slow the door at all. Which means no reason to think about beaver benefits. Or lost opportunities for biodiversity or climate change.

There would be No story of Martinez and no joyful discovery of all the wildlife we saw in our urban creek.

And shh, don’t tell anyone, if I were the cigar smoking, boots on the desk head of CDFW and I really wanted to keep beavers out of public awareness, I would dearly want  relocation. Because even if I secretly hated beavers, it would mostly still be lethal anyway and it would keep people from complaining about them all the time. Because preventing distaste and letting them get what they want without ever considering that beavers matter might just be safer in the long run than forcing them to really consider what we have lost every time a beaver family is removed and what CDFW permits have allowed to be stolen from our state for the past century.

But for now, we have DISTASTE. And it’s not enough to stop a train or turn the tide. But it’s not without its value, It’s the only precious brake we have on the out-of-control vehicle of unstoppable progress and rampant greed.  It’s woefully inadequate, But it’s more powerful than we realize.

So this moment in time, uniquely flawed and inadequate, a moment where people are starting to learn why beavers matter and it is still slightly distasteful to get rid of them is a strike-while-the-iron-is-hot moment. It’s our best possible chance to make as much of an impact as we can and teach our state about flow devices and how they work and why beaver are worth the trouble. It might be out only between-a-rock and a hard-place stage where we can promote long term solutions.

And we should make the most of it.


It is finally Friday on what has been one helluva week, so I’m sure the thing we all need right now is cute baby beaver pictures – by which I mean baby beaver pictures – because they are all dam cute. It’s not like some photos ended up in a pile on the cutting room floor with directors saying, well your nose was just tooo round, and your fur just didn’t look squeezable enough.

Bored Panda must have had a hard week too because they aired this post last with an outstanding collection, including one that happened quite close to home literally last week from our own Lindsay museum that actually did the right thing and sent a baby back to the lodge to be with his family!

The North American beavers are nature’s hard-working architects. They have an innate ability to build structures that can rival even some ambitious human projects. These impressive skilled creatures also ended up becoming the main characters of a video game (it’s called Timberborn, if you want to look for it).

But this is not enough to explain what makes beavers so darn charming! With their big eyes and adorable teething, beavers are one of the cutest animals you could find out there. Known for building dams and lodges in rivers and lakes, they’re one of the six symbols of Canada. The trade of beaver fur used to be so profitable to the country that Canadians felt compelled to pay tribute to this buck-toothed animal. Canadians are not the only ones so obsessed with cute beavers. We are too, and that’s why we put together a collection of beaver pics that will build up your love for them, picture after picture!

Well I hate to argue with a known scholar like Bored Panda but in fact beavers of all ages have tiny beady eyes and that’s not what makes them so cute. See for yourself.

 

Luckily this little one had a saviour on a paddle board! When it was pulled from behind the rocks it had already been crying for three days, and had likely ventured out of the lodge after a few days of no parents returning. After almost a week alone, this baby was lucky to get into our centre. Beaver kits are born precocial with a fluffy coat and their eyes open. With both parents tending to the babies, they are never left alone and need constant attention in the unfortunate event they are alone without a family. This little one required extensive stabilization with rehydration every few hours, even through the night by our dedicated volunteers. Because we partner with other amazing wildlife centres across the province, we were able to get this little beaver into the best possible place it could grow up, (next to with its mom and dad of course). Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary has the largest beaver rehabilitation facilities in Canada, and another orphaned baby that needed a friend.
After two years in care they will be old enough to be released into vacant ponds to claim, and hopefully start little beaver families of their own. Beavers are essential to our aquatic ecosystems—they are wildlife engineers and the ponds they make create habitat for hundreds of other species. We thank Tracy and all our finders for caring for Ontarios wildlife, helping us keep Kawartha wild!

Obviously the parents weren’t returning because they were KILLED not because they went on a gambling trip over state lines. Sheesh when I think of how many adorable orphan beavers we make EVERY single year it gives this article a whole new vibe.

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Just so you know, It’s the beaver in the box. I have boxes like that. I want to know why mine don’t have a baby beaver in them.

Please fix this error right away. And if you want to read about the beaver rescue from Lindsay museum click on the header to follow the article.


What are you doing this Saturday? Why not make a pilgrimage to Napa and see ribbon cutting ceremony on the beaver interpretive signs? Yes you heard me right.

Celebration of Napa Creek’s Urban Beavers. Since the completion of the Napa Flood Protection plan, the American Beaver – once plentiful throughout California but hunted and trapped to near-extinction – have begun to return to Napa River tributaries. The Napa Creek colony is unique in that it is thriving right in the middle of downtown. New interpretive signs designed by the P4 Practicum Group of this year’s Leadership Napa Valley class will help locals and visitors alike to understand and appreciate this special animal and its habitat in the restored Napa Creek corridor.

I’m pretty sure they will feature the awesome photographs of one Rusty Cohn. How splendid to show them off and explain all the beavers good works. This was always my dream for Martinez. But the best laid plans of mice and men sometimes take a few generations to reach fruition. Let’s hope it will happen again soon.

Maybe in Fairfield?


I just love days like these. Yesterday I learned that our long time helper Erika will take over for Fro with the animal spirit flag painting, with Susan, April and Alana and Jon as her aides and to top it off this story aired on the NPR podcast “Short Wave”. You should definitely listen.


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Oooh look what’s coming soon! And I have it on the very best authority that you can purchase a rare autographed copy from the silent auction at our own Beaver Festival because the author herself is a fan of the Martinez Beaver story!


BEAVERLAND reveals the natural wonder and unsung impact that beavers have had on American history and our landscape, and how they may be a keystone species to restoring balance and biodiversity during the coming climate crisis.

In the rich naturalist tradition of H is for Hawk and The Soul of an Octopus, BEAVERLAND tells the tumultuous, eye-opening story of how beavers and the beaver fur trade shaped America’s history, culture, and environment. Before the American empires of steel and coal and oil, before the railroads, there was the empire of fur. Beginning with the early trans-Atlantic trade in North America, Leila Philip traces the beaver’s profound influence on our nation’s early economy and feverish western expansion, its first corporations and multi-millionaires.

Okay, so Ben’s book is THE book but it’s a few years old and lord knows he inspired a few new authors to do their own thing. Is there anything left to write about? You bet your asked and answered!\

As Leila’s passion for this weird and wonderful rodent widens from her careful observation of its dams in her local pond, she chronicles the many characters she meets in her pursuit of the beaver: fur trappers and fur traders, biologists and fur auctioneers, wildlife managers, PETA activists, Native American environmental vigilantes, scientists, engineers and beaver enthusiasts. What emerges is a startling portrait of the secretive, largely hidden world of the contemporary fur trade and an immersive ecological and historical investigation of these animals that, once trapped to the point of extinction, have rebounded to become one of the greatest conservation stories of the 20th century. Now, beavers offer surprising solutions to some of the most urgent problems caused by climate change.

Beautifully written and filled with the many colorful characters—fur trappers and fur traders and fur auctioneers, wildlife managers and biologists, Native American environmental vigilantes. She meets a Harvard scientist from the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana, using drones to create 3-dimensional images of beaver dams. She meets an environmental restoration consultant in the Chesapeake whose nickname is the beaver whisperer. BEAVERLAND transports readers into scenes of beavers in their ponds and the scientists and fur trappers in pursuit of them, widening arcs of information to reveal the profound ways in which beavers and the beaver trade shaped history, culture, and our environment.

Ooh doesn’t that sound wonderful? I can hardly wait to start quoting her on the website! Just in case you are forgetting who Leila is, she’s also the poet who gave us this.

Beaver Festival XIII

BEAVER BUDGET

HELP US HELP THEM!

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The Beaver Cheat Sheet

Day 2: California Beaver Summit

URBAN BEAVERS

CHILDREN’S CORNER

LASSIE INVENTS BDA

BYU Radio

LASSIE AND BEAVERS

Creating a dependable water supply

Our Story

RANGER RICK

Kids Explain Beavers

Ten Years

Restoration

Beaver in CA

Beaver Rehab

The meeting that started it all

Story By Year

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